Terror attacks illustrate the need for secure borders

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

By Dade Phelan

Since the recent terror attacks both home and abroad, I have often been asked, “What has Texas done to improve the safety of its citizens?” The following items have been implemented over the last six months.


  • During the 2015 legislative session, the Texas House approved the border-security package championed by Governor Greg Abbott, and invested a historic $800 million in border security. This allocation of funds, coupled with House Bill 11, allows for the hiring of an additional 250 state troopers to patrol the Texas border.
  • Through House Bill 11, the Legislature also gave the Department of Public Safety the authority to expedite the hiring of military veterans who have been honorably discharged and want to become state troopers.
  • House Bill 12 provides additional funding and new resources for the state’s Border Prosecution Unit. The unit helps border-area authorities prosecute crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering.
  • Human trafficking is a major concern in the border area, the House continued to take steps to combat and prosecute this horrible crime during the 84th Legislative Session. House Bill 10 was the first bill that the House approved this session. It created a Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit and increased reporting requirements for the trafficking of a child and makes prosecuting the crimes of human trafficking and forced prostitution easier. HB 10 also provides additional resources for children who are victims of human trafficking.
  • The Legislature acted in 2015 to require state agencies and public universities to use the E-Verify system to protect against the hiring of those who are in the country illegally.
  • In November, Speaker Straus directed the House Appropriations Committee to evaluate the effectiveness of the Department of Public Safety’s use of funds appropriated during the 84th Legislative Session for border security operations. They will also examine existing data and reporting on border security metrics, and recommend improvements to ensure the security of our border.

There is nothing more important to Texans than the safety of our families yet our President ignores border security, supports disastrous open immigration policies and dismisses foreign radicals as “amateurs”. Texas has been forced to perform the Constitutional duties of the federal government and the taxpayers of this great state should send Washington, DC the bill.

My prayers are with our law enforcement officers especially the Department of Public Safety Troopers and members of the Texas National Guard who are deployed at the border and risk their lives to make Texas a safer place to live and work.

It is honor to serve the citizens of Southeast. If I may ever be of assistance please contact me at dade.phelan@house.state.tx.us or 512.463.0706.

God Bless you all and God Bless Texas,

Dade Phelan is Texas House Member Representative for District 21